The Chessmen of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 145

Golden Cliffs to The Carrion Caves. My name
is Val Dor. Who knows Helium, knows my prowess."

The name was well known to Gahan, who had heard the man spoken of on
his last visit to Helium, and his mysterious disappearance discussed as
well as his renown as a fighter.

"How could I know aught of Helium?" asked Turan; "but if you be such a
fighter as you say no position could suit you better than that of
Flier. What say you?"

The man's eyes denoted sudden surprise. He looked keenly at Turan, his
eyes running quickly over the other's harness. Then he stepped quite
close so that his words might not be overheard.

"Methinks you may know more of Helium than of Manator," he whispered.

"What mean you, fellow?" demanded Turan, seeking to cudgel his brains
for the source of this man's knowledge, guess, or inspiration.

"I mean," replied Val Dor, "that you are not of Manator and that if you
wish to hide the fact it is well that you speak not to a Manatorian as
you did just speak to me of--Fliers! There be no Fliers in Manator and
no piece in their game of Jetan bearing that name. Instead they call
him who stands next to the Chief or Princess, Odwar. The piece has the
same moves and power that the Flier has in the game as played outside
Manator. Remember this then and remember, too, that if you have a
secret it be safe in the keeping of Val Dor of Helium."

Turan made no reply but turned to the task of selecting the remainder
of his pieces. Val Dor, the Heliumite, and Floran, the volunteer from
Gathol, were of great assistance to him, since one or the other of them
knew most of the slaves from whom his selection was to be made. The
pieces all chosen, Turan led them to the place beside the playing field
where they were to wait their turn, and here he passed the word around
that they were to fight for more than the stake he offered for the
princess should they win. This stake they accepted, so that Turan was
sure of possessing Tara if his side was victorious, but he knew that
these men would fight even more valorously for chivalry than for money,
nor was it difficult to enlist the interest even of the Gatholians in
the service of the princess. And now he held out the possibility of a
still further reward.

"I cannot promise you," he explained, "but I may say I have heard that
this day which makes

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the following changes to the text: PAGE LINE ORIGINAL CHANGED TO 10 12 of or 14 19 of animals life of animals 31 26 is arms his arms 37 14 above this above his 37 23 Bradley, Bradley 54 18 man man 57 14 and of Oo-oh of Oo-oh 62 18 spend spent 63 31 and mumbled the mumbled 64 9 things thing 80 30 east cast 104 16 proaching proached 106 30 cos-at-lu cos-ata-lu 126 17 not artistic not an artistic 126 25 close below hands close below 130 1 internals intervals 132 9 than .